Ohio State buses are rolling more often as the university adds routes after operational rollbacks due to COVID-19.
The university’s Campus Area Bus Service expanded services Monday, resuming use of Campus Loop South and expanding hours for West Campus Loop routes. CABS was previously only running two daytime routes and two limited routes at decreased capacity due to COVID-19 guidelines.
“We are very excited to bring back a modified Campus Loop South and add daytime hours to the West Campus route,” Nicole Holman, assistant director of marketing and communications in the Office of Administration and Planning, said in an email. “These service modifications support our students, faculty and staff and directly address customer requests we had received earlier this semester.”
Campus Loop South transfers students between Buckeye Lot and West Campus and to academic buildings on North and South campuses. On weekdays, it operates every 5-10 minutes from 5 a.m. to midnight. On weekends, it operates every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Campus Loop South did not operate this semester prior to the services update.
The West Campus Loop runs 24/7 and takes riders from Carmack parking lots to locations bordering campus. On weekdays, it operates every 10-15 minutes from 7 a.m. to midnight and every 30 minutes from midnight to 7 a.m., according to the Transportation and Traffic Management website. On weekends, the route runs every 30 minutes from midnight to noon and every 15 minutes from noon to midnight.
Prior to the updated routes, the West Campus Loop ran from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours a day on the weekends.
The university also increased safety precautions on buses to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, Holman said. To limit the spread of the coronavirus, buses are cleaned at least twice a day, have hand sanitizer and safety dividers between seats and require passengers to wear face masks at all times, according to the website.
In addition to resuming Campus Loop South and increasing hours for West Campus Loop, the university decreased the frequency of Buckeye Loop from 5-7 a.m. due to “low ridership,” according to the website. Buckeye Loop runs around campus from Buckeye Lot to the RPAC and will run every 20 minutes from 5-7 a.m., every 5 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and every 15 minutes from 10 p.m. to midnight weekdays. It runs 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.
East Residential, which takes passengers to the area east of campus where many students live, still only runs every 15 minutes on weekdays from 7 p.m. to midnight.